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Object: Copy of a portrait of John Samuel Gibbons

This image has No Known Copyright Restrictions.

Title Copy of a portrait of John Samuel Gibbons
Production Berry & Co (copyist), 1918-1919, Wellington
Medium summary black and white glass negative
Materials photographic gelatin, sheet glass, silver, photographic plates
Classification portraits, black-and-white negatives, gelatin dry plate negatives
Technique black-and-white photography
Format half plate (1/2)
Credit line Purchased 1998 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds
Registration number B.044507

John Samuel Gibbons, service number 70467

This portrait depicts John Samuel Gibbons, wearing the uniform of a Private in a Mounted Signal Company of the New Zealand Army.

John  was born in Auckland on the 5th April 1894 to his parents Mary Ellen and Robert Huia Gibbons. He worked as a self-employed engineer before enlisting in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force on 13th September 1917. He trained at Trentham and at Featherston camps, where the original of this portrait was taken,  with the 35th Reinforcements and the Specialist Company of the 36th Reinforcements. John embarked from Wellington on the 23rd April 1918 and arrived at Sling Camp in England for training with the 3rd Reserve Battalion of the Auckland Infantry Regiment on 18 July 1918. On 10 October he was sent to the New Zealand Machine Gun Depot at Grantham for training as a machine gunner.  Following the Armistice he returned to New Zealand where he was discharged from military service at Wellington on 17 June 1919.

John returned to live in Auckland where he resumed his work as an engineer, founding the Sunbeam Engineering Company in 1942.  He married Violet Roslyn Brown in 1940 and they had one child, Josie. John died in 1957 aged 63 and is buried at Hillsborough Cemetery

I know who this is

The Berry Boys
During World War I, around 120 Kiwi soldiers had their photograph taken at Wellington’s Berry & Co photography studio before they left New Zealand to fight in the war . These portraits are now in Te Papa’s collection.

In the lead-up to the World War I centenary (2014-18), Te Papa is working to identify these soldiers and the loved ones they are pictured with. We want to make contact with their descendants, and to record their stories.

Some soldiers have already been identified. For others, we only have the surname etched on the glass negative.

Contact us
If you have any information you can share about the Berry Boys - either a soldier or someone they are photographed with - please use the online form above. You can also email or leave a phone message for us on 04 381 7129. You can also write to Berry Boys Project Team, Te Papa, PO Box 467, Wellington 6140.

To aid identification, please be sure to include the Te Papa registration number (B.044366, for example) for the photo in question.

Related information

Disclaimer: This information was created from historic documentation, and may not necessarily reflect the best available knowledge about the item. Some collection images are created for identification purposes only and may not be of reproduction quality. Some images are not available due to copyright restrictions. If you have information or questions about objects in the collection, contact us using our enquiry form. You can also find out more about Collections Online.